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Mummy Worries: Asbestos In Schools

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 16-01-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


In recent years, the dangers of asbestos exposure have come to the attention of the public. In particular, the presence of asbestos in UK public schools may leave you feeling worried about your children and the serious conditions they may be exposed to everyday in their classrooms. Read this article to learn more about asbestos in schools—and whether or not your child is at risk.

Asbestos: What It Is and Where It’s Found

The reason why asbestos exposure is such a major concern in the UK is that it was heavily used as a building material in UK properties from the 1950s through the 1990s. Asbestos was highly favoured in construction projects because it is a good insulator and not easily flammable. The material can be found in many forms in buildings constructed prior to the year 2000—loose asbestos is present in wall and floor cavities, asbestos reinforced composite materials can be found in toilet cisterns, and asbestos coatings may be found in roofing, shingles, siding, ceilings, and door gaskets.

Presence in Public Schools

The Department of Education (DfE) estimates that asbestos-related materials may be present in up to 75 per cent of UK schools. This issue has been highlighted by various news stories in recent years, in which students and faculty have been evacuated from UK public schools as the result of potentially dangerous asbestos exposure levels. Last year alone, evacuations at Cwmcarn High School in South East Wales and Catherine Junior School in Leicester made headlines in the media, causing many to wonder just what the government is doing to help protect the nation’s children from this serious health threat.

Should You Be Worried?

The asbestos epidemic has caused a great deal of alarm to the public over the past few years. The potentially fatal consequences of being exposed to asbestos materials over a long period of time include diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. There has consequently been a rise in people looking to make a mesothelioma claim, especially amongst construction workers who spent their lifetimes working with the material, as well as those who have been exposed to its deadly fibres. It has also been discovered that children are particularly vulnerable to asbestos exposure, as symptoms can take decades to develop and manifest themselves in the human body.

The good news is that as long as asbestos remains undisturbed, it is generally considered safe to leave it in its current place. Circumstances that may disturb asbestos materials include construction work and fires, so if you have concerns about asbestos in your child’s public school, ask to see a report on what measures the local school district is taking to monitor it. As long as the asbestos is being monitored closely, you can sleep soundly knowing that your little one is not at risk.

Comments (1)

Informative article, asbestos in school is a very big issue.

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